STL2GDS is a translator that converts the binary STL format into an GDSII stream file. The user can specify one or more Z-heights and the converter will "slice" the 3D model along this height to create a 2D mask.
STL (stereolithography) output is produced by virtually all 3D design/modeling software including SolidWorks, ProEngineer and AutoCAD Inventor.
Data flow from 3D design software to lithography
Designers of MEMS often prefer to use a 3D mechanical software to design and simulate their structures. Once complete, they are faced with the need to convert their 3D model into a series of 2D slices - each slice will produce a mask that is used to etch silicon or to define a built up layer of silicon dioxide.
STL2GDS was created with these designers in mind. They can export their 3D model in STL format and then use STL2GDS to create the required GDSII mask data. These GDSII files can be sent either to an IC design house for integration with the "electronic" part of the MEMS or directly to the photomask shop.
For those who wish to use the stl2gds program from a script, batch file or call it from another program, STL2GDS can be run directly from the command line.